I usually never read books in one or two days because I never have the time to do so – but yesterday, I went to the store at eleven am and spent the entire day reading. Today I read the last 100 pages after school and now I am done, desperate to buy the sequel tomorrow and shattered to 100000 pieces because this book was so incredibly great and there isn’t a better feeling in the world than after finishing an overwhelming book in a short time. Here are my thoughts on Mona Kasten’s novel Save Me!
Ruby Bell doesn’t fit into her private school, Maxton Hall, which is why she keeps to herself and sticks to the principle: survive by going unnoticed. She doesn’t have the money, the status and the parents to compare herself to Britain’s upper class, but she made it this far. Her ultimate dream: staying in Oxford, a goal she has been determined to reach since she was seven years old. And Maxton Hall with its elite educational system is bound to get her there. But the life of the rich and posh is not very easy to avoid. When suddenly James Beaufort, most popular, influential and richest boy in school shows interest in her, she is certain: he wants something because there is no way he could have noticed her when she’s spent the last two years alone and unseen…
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: February 23rd 2018
This book isn’t the intellectual read, the story line isn’t the most complex and maybe we have read other books with the same themes and stuff – but I was looking for a book to read by the pool/beach, one that would be gripping and which I’d love to continue, and with Save Me, I have found just that.
The plot, while not the most complex structure in the world, was great: it perfectly showed the influence of money on your career and I loved Ruby’s POV: the “average owning house hold”, with her mother owning a bakery and her father not being able to work because of an accident. Her goal is to study at Oxford University and since we share a goal, I loved the plot. In general, I loved the focus on school life and everything that surrounds it: differences between private and public schools, future plans and goals and planing parties…
Obviously, the school and Oxford aspect wasn’t the only plot, it mainly focussed on James’ and Ruby’s story and I loved their development: at first, they hated each other – him being the richest boy at school drinking and partying all the time, and her studying hard to fulfill her dreams. Well, it’s nothing we haven’t read before, but I liked the realization: he was forced to work on the school party planning committee and so they were forced to spend some time together…
The last 100 pages were full of different things happening, and so eventful is a very understatement. To be honest, for 400 pages, a little too much happened at the ending. But I’m not complaining because I loved the slow burn of the plot and so I’ll forgive the rushed ending. Some aspects of the ending felt a little forced, but it did end with a cliffhanger – so no early judgement!
The characters were on the one side – James and Ruby – awesome, and on the other side super superficial and shallow because there was literally no other remarkable character in the book other than the very interesting protagonists?! For James and Ruby, I loved their different perspectives on life and their goals and struggles not so far apart after all. The POVs switched between the two of them, and for the people who love insight to all the characters’ feelings, that might be a total plus point. But I have one struggle: James seemed to be the stone cold guy for the public, but then appeared to be super sweet in his POV and I wished the reader would have discovered that fact together with Ruby who discovered it so much later than the reader which kind of took the element of surprise and the mystery out of the character.
The atmosphere practically didn’t exist: for it being set in England and a private elite school on top of that, and also set in Oxford at one point – it didn’t differ from any other contemporary set in a random city. I would have loved a little more description. As for the writing: I read the book in German and I haven’t done that in ages so I cringed the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME. It’s beyond weird to switch the language after like 10 years of reading in English. So comment here, even if I wanted to, I’m unable to judge due to the lack of experience.
Recommendable: for the ones looking for a light and exciting read!
It’s a great slow burn book, it has amazing two protagonists and a great focus on the coming-of age aspect, but is no masterpiece with the rest of the characters, no new contemporary invention and no special atmosphere!